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Vanilla-Rum Buttercream

Didn't think your chocolate cake experience could get any better? Think again.  Offerico Maoz, author of Flavored Butters, tells us that yellow butter is more strongly flavored than pale butter. "Yellow butter is more common in the summer, when cows are more likely to graze in open fields. In the winter, when fresh grass is rare and cows often feed on stored hay, we usually get paler butter."

  • 1 cup unsalted pale butter, softened (see note below)
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality white rum



In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy and almost white in color.

Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners sugar. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time to ensure thorough blending.

Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the black seeds from the split vanilla pod straight into the butter mixture. Beat on medium speed for at least 20 minutes. The mixture should increase in volume and become fluffy, vanilla-scented cream, beautifully dotted with tiny black spots of vanilla.

Add the salt and continue beating at medium speed. Begin adding the rum a drop at a time (This will prevent the mixture from curdling and will help dissolve the remaining sugar.) Once all of the rum is well incorporated, beat for 5 more minutes.

Serving Suggestion:

This buttercream is not just for icing. Spread it between cake layers, use it to fill roulades, and pipe it onto (or into) your pastries. Once you've tasted it, you'll never lack for ideas to use it.


Reprinted with permission from ©Penn Publishing Ltd. Flavored Butters: Nuts, Dairy, Herbs, Fruit by Offerico Maoz, printed by Ten Speed Press

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